1. We Pay The Price 2. The Siren's Call 3. Love for Sale 4. Illusion 5. Pull Me Under 6. No More Monkey business 7. Reach out 8. Heaven Above 9. What I Believe 10. Any Other Day
Elf Project The Great Divide
Elf Project originated from the greater New York area and have continued to push the boundaries of 70’s progressive rock within the confines of the “classic” hard rock power trio.The three members of the band, Carl Schultz (vocals,bass and keys), Mike Cappadozy (guitars) and Dave Wayne (drums) blend together very well, producing music which is rife with memorable hooks and remains accessibly melodic.
It is difficult to approach a review of The Great Divide withoout being very aware that the greatest influence on Elf Project seems to be the Canadian power trio, Rush. What does make a review of this new album a little more straightforward, is the fact that the reviewer last listened to Rush around the “Spirit of Radio/Freewill” era, and might miss out on some of the Rush nuances.
The Great Divide is a ten track album with the average length of the tracks around the 4 to 4.5 minute mark. The opening track, “We Pay The Price,” is all an opening track should be….crisp textured guitar, driving bass and measured drumming with layered keyboards putting in an appearance around the halfway point ( nodding more to the progressive side of the band) and everything bodes well for the rest of the album.
“The Sirens Call” soon emphasises the impotance of Carl Schultz, with his bass lines driving this song along. His vocals are very clear and seem to sit very comfortably over the top of this style of rock. Excellent guitar riffs from Mike Cappadozy weave in and out of the mix.
An out and out rocker, “Love For Sale,” shifts the emphasis again before settling into a well structured piece of work with the bass and drums crisp and clear, and superb guitar work from Cappadozy. Another classy track.
There is a change of sound with track 4, “Illusion,” which has a much more laid-back atmosphere and then on into “Pull Me Under,” which has sublime guitar fills and a “looser” feel showing the band in a more relaxed frame of mind. Excellent.
The “bossy” bass of Schultz introduces “No More Monkey Business,” an instrumental track, builds very nicely allowing the guitar work of Cappadozy, bass of Schultz, and the precise drumming of Wayne to be showcased.
On into another rockier track, “Reach Out,” which shows just how well this band gels together and drives along with a heavier feel to it, while always retaining the melodic nature of the band Continuing the heavier feel of the last track, “Heaven Above” differs sufficiently to maintain interest as it powers through its 4 minutes. Cappadozy again interjects some deft guitar touches around two thirds of the way through the track.
The penultimate track on the album, “What I Believe,” is another slice of subdued rock music, driven along by the smooth engine of Schultz and Wayne.
A surprise awaits in the last track, “Any Other Day,” which has a compeletely different feel to it, and unfortunately just seems to be so out of place with the other 90% of the album. I found this track very disappointing as a closing track.
Overall, The Great Divide is a very good rock album and Elf Project are certainly a very impressive power trio. Even without listening to Rush since “dinosaurs roamed the Earth,” there is a definite Rush-like feel to this band. Not entirely a bad thing in my opinion…they are melodic, powerful and an excellent little unit. Certainly worth a listen..you might be very pleasantly surprised.
Key Tracks: Love For Sale, Pull Me Under, Heaven Above
Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-MuzikReviews.com Staff